FaceTime Stories February 7

Apple has turned its Group FaceTime feature back on following the release of iOS 12.1.4 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Apple manually disabled the feature over a week ago after a privacy bug was discovered with Group FaceTime that allowed eavesdropping between FaceTime users.

Apple has also shared an on-the-record statement confirming the fixes are in place:

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Update: iOS 12.1.4 is now available.

Last week was a tough one for Apple and privacy. First, a huge bug in Group FaceTime would allow someone to eavesdrop on another FaceTime user just by calling them and adding themselves to a group call before the contact answered. Then, a project from Facebook was revealed to be spying on users, violating Apple’s Enterprise Developer Program policies. The latter was dealt with by revoking Facebook’s enterprise certificate, rendering their internal apps unusable. The same action was taken against Google, which had a similar project.

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

FaceTime Stories February 5

The US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee has today penned a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook with a list of questions about the FaceTime eavesdropping bug. The letter is signed by Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky.

In the letter, the committee says it is “deeply troubled” about the bug, as well as how long it took Apple to address the issue.

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FaceTime Stories February 4

Apple exec met with teenager who found FaceTime bug at his Arizona home, will be eligible for bug bounty program

The FaceTime bug that made waves as result of 9to5Mac’s coverage last week was actually first reported to Apple by Grant Thompson and his mother in Arizona a week earlier. However, deficiencies in the Apple bug reporting process meant that the report was not acted upon by the company …

FaceTime Stories February 1

Apple has today released an update on the FaceTime eavesdropping bug and offered an apology. The company says it has patched the flaw on its servers and will roll out an update to iOS users next week to bring back Group FaceTime with the bug fixed. It also makes a promise to improve how it handles bug reports and its escalation process.

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Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) – the UK equivalent of the NSA – is calling on Apple and other tech companies to secretly add law enforcement agents to Messages chats, FaceTime calls and other forms of encrypted chat on demand.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has said this would be like the recently-discovered FaceTime bug, only worse …

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